Remote working relationships hold countless opportunities for businesses and employees alike, but also hold few challenges for those of you who are new to the flexible working environment concept. Here are five tips to remote working relationships that actually work
The working environment in today’s world is nothing like it used to be not long ago. As businesses become more diverse and appeal to global clienteles, they all seem to embrace a less conservative approach with time; one that enables them to work with remote business partners, where each is based in another country.
In fact, it doesn’t seem far-fetched to imagine a world with no physical boundaries, where employees are working from home, the outcome isn’t negatively affected, and the business even manages to cut some of its old expenses. Nevertheless, if you are planning to join the above mentioned working revolution, you need to take some safety measures.
To put it in other words: remote working relationships are the future, yet you still need to provide your business with the right tools and help your business partners improve their communication, for this vision to work. If it’s your first time working remotely, this next article is for you: here are five little hacks to help you make it through to the other side.
Hold Weekly Conference Calls
One of the most crucial aspects of any business is a transparent, seamless communication. It’s your responsibility to cultivate communication through any possible means, especially when remote working relationships are involved. An online audio conference call is an ideal example of a solution to maintain healthy working relations between all parties. Make sure to hold conference calls regularly to keep a certain structure and stress the importance of teamwork, shared efforts and a common goal. At times, you might feel a call is redundant, but it will help you keep yourself, and your partners motivated, facilitate your decision making processes, and even save a lot of time on back and forth e-mails in the future. Just don’t forget to set a time that’s convenient enough for everyone!
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Where there’s a demand, there’s also supply, and in this case more than enough. Plenty of software offer bespoke remote working solutions to businesses of all sorts: it could be a conference call service, a task delegating software, shared files platforms like Dropbox or Google Docs or a project management tool like Jira. The market is saturated while endless user-friendly software are competing for your attention, promising to make your working environment a lot easier and more organized. Simply Google your need, browse through your options and pick one.
Learn the Different Culture Codes
As a part of your communication efforts; make sure you invest a fair share of time in learning your partners’ cultural codes. It could help you avoid potential misunderstandings, discomforts, and even communication breakdowns. It might sound trivial, but business norms are subjected to different cultures, just like other daily interactions are. This includes understanding and respecting working hours or working days, preferred communication methods and small talk etiquette.
Improve Your Availability
Here’s your chance to set an example by being available to your partners and expedite decision making processes at the same time. The more you are available to calls, e-mails and conference calls, the faster the team can reach a mutual understanding and improve their productivity. On the other hand, if you procrastinate and leave matters unattended, tasks might fall between the cracks, and all of your working processes will be affected. True, to each of your team members there’s a different pace, yet it’s important to lead and impact other people by doing so.
Pick the Right Partners
Although this last piece of advice might sound rather obvious, it’s also fundamental and way too important to neglect. Your business partners are the bedrock of everything else. Working relationships are just as serious as marriages are, and you can’t easily change your mind and your partners. Choose people with whom you share a common vision and with whom you can easily communicate your ideas, even when times are tough and under stress. If more than one partner is involved, make sure the other partners get along as well. Otherwise, you might end up mediating between them.
Remote working is not going anywhere. On the contrary: some say there’s no way around it. There’s also nothing to be afraid of: this is an arrangement everyone can benefit from, which is based on goals rather than on fixed office times. But until it becomes the norm, you need to adapt and help others adapt to new communication means, new tools, and some self-discipline. Do this carefully to pave the way, and lead your team to the inevitable future.